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The following statement has been adopted by the Council of Global Unions at their February 2018 meeting:
In the US, the Janus vs AFSCME supreme court case represents the biggest anti-union legal move in half a century.The case is supported by big monied conservatives including the Koch Brothers with the goal of diminishing the power of the labour movement under the guise of freedom of speech.If the case is accepted, fair share fees paid by non-member workers to cover their representation will no longer be obligatory – yet Unions will still be legally-bound to represent them.This case warps and weaponizes the idea of freedom of speech by enabling one person’s complaint to undermine the interests of millions of workers across the country who benefit from collective bargaining.The Amicus Curie brief prepared by our affiliates for the court shows how fair share fees are central to an efficient and effective public sector.On Feb. 24 — two days before the Supreme Court deals with Janus vs. AFSCME — a massive mobilization hopes to get thousands into the streets in a show of labor strength.Called the “Working People’s Day of Action,” the nationwide rallies aims to invoke the spirit of the Martin Luther King and the sanitation workers who walked off their jobs in Memphis 50 years ago.This case should not be seen as an isolated, domestic event but rather as part of a global attempt to erode our power, seen in other countries in cases such as the recent UK Trade Union Act.We encourage all unions in the public and private sectors and Global Union Federations to recognize the dangerous threat that this poses to our movement and to support our US comrades on their day of action, February 24th.
Learn more about how to support the cause here: